Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Sr. Marlene Vigna uses homily to endorse “mavericks” like Fr. Curran, Sister Chittester and a handful of others

October 1st, 2012, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

When I read this past Sunday’s readings prior to mass, I thought, “oh boy, I bet liberals are gonna twist Moses’ and Jesus’ words to mean something crazy.” So I wasn’t all that surprised to receive this email from a reader this morning:

We had something come up yesterday morning, so we ended up at St. Ambrose for Mass at 5:00 last night.

Sr. Marlene’s “homily” was pretty great. First, she declared that, like the rest of us, she’d inadvertently been raised a bigot. Because we’d been raised to think that the Catholic church had a monopoly on the truth and was the “one true way to salvation.”

Then, in her closing, she called for acceptance of “mavericks” like Fr. Curran, Sr. Joan Chittister, and a handful of others.

Good times.

Sr. Marlene Vigna also was a signer of this document endorsing women’s ordination.

The real question is – is this even news worthy? Is it surprising that our leaders have separated themselves from full communion with the Church and encourage others to do so? Hopefully someone’s paying attention because if this diocese is in great shape, I’d pity one that is in good or even fair shape.

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144 Responses to “Sr. Marlene Vigna uses homily to endorse “mavericks” like Fr. Curran, Sister Chittester and a handful of others”

  1. avatar Scott W. says:

    Write the bishop and cc the nuncio.

  2. avatar militia says:

    What’s a nun doing giving a homily? The non-ordained (and that includes nuns, sisters and brothers) are not permitted to preach at Mass. So her very preaching was an act of disobedience. Why should anyone listen to someone who, from the get-go, is disobedient?

    We need laity who are more courageous and will just say so! The false preachers trade on the fear, generosity and/or reverence of the people in the pew who don’t hear the clear call to stand up for Christ.

  3. avatar annonymouse says:

    I expect that non-ordained giving homilies to be the first thing the new bishop changes.

    Question for Syracuse readers – does Bishop Cunningham allow the non-ordained to preach in the DoS?

    If so, it might be worth letting him know about Sister’s homily at St. Ambrose. He probably doesn’t plan to change much, but maybe he’ll change this!

  4. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Another reason to beware of the nuns in the near future.

  5. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Militia,

    What could the laity do? Leave the parish? Leave during the homily and then return afterwords? This has been discussed often here.

    Who could they express their opinions? The pastor, I mean pastoral administrator who is marching solidly behind his heretetical bishop?

    And the laity? Most are unfortunately dumbed down. They are clueless as to what is normal. It is like the frog in the lukwarm water. The water slowly was heated to boiling and the frog became insensitive to the heat and boiled to death.

    I really do wonder the role of the laity in the new administration. And I am also curious as to how all the dissenters will try and keep the heresy alive.

  6. avatar Eliza10 says:

    What could the laity do?

    — Wander around the sanctuary during the homily?

  7. avatar annonymouse says:

    St. Ambrose (Peace of Christ) has a pastor, do they not?

    Maybe the pastor is the first person to whom I’d complain.

  8. avatar JLo says:

    I can’t remember where (wish I could) but I once read that one may show dissent from what’s going on by standing in the aisle. Just rising and standing silently in the aisle.

    Has anyone ever heard of this? It was all of a dozen years ago that I read it and have no frame of reference at all to help me search, just the memory of that action. +JMJ

  9. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Lo says:
    October 2, 2012 at 2:27 PM
    I can’t remember where (wish I could) but I once read that one may show dissent from what’s going on by standing in the aisle. Just rising and standing silently in the aisle.

    Has anyone ever heard of this? It was all of a dozen years ago that I read it and have no frame of reference at all to help me search, just the memory of that action. +JMJ

    Interesting. It does seem that one should not just sit there, as if one thinks all is well. It is us being trampled on, our right to a licit Mass. It seems if they are saying “rules don’t matter” then we could, for example, stand, walk around, whatever.

  10. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I just got up and went to the back of the church. I did not have the testasterone to simply stand in the asile.

    I was in a parish where the nun was giving the homily. I would leave the altar and retire to the sacristy. The pastor confronted me, giving me a choice to either stay on the altar or give up lecturing. I chose the latter.

  11. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    I’m going to make a statement and then ask a few questions. I’d appreciate your input.

    Having not been to church in quite some time, (which I am going back after I go to confession) I haven’t been exposed to a nun giving the homily. Although I have disagreed with you on several issues, I find myself thinking about how I would feel if this occurs when I make my transition. I think I would much rather have a priest. I question my reasons and wonder if I’ve been influenced by a society that is male dominated, but because I admittedly have issues in that regard, I don’t think that is the reason. I think I feel that way for the same reasons most of you hold. Just saying. And, I wouldn’t want a female priest. I’m not actually against it, because I do have issues and anger and disagree with some of the teachings of the Church; being a woman’s advocate, I surprise myself with my feelings. Just saying.

  12. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Excuse my redundancy in my previous post…

  13. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    And the questions:

    To Cleansing Fire…why do you think I feel this way? Do you have any thoughts on what I said?

  14. avatar Scott W. says:

    If it is any comfort, I would be equally against this had it been a lay-male giving the homily.

  15. avatar Abaccio says:

    Sallyanne,

    I, too, once disagreed with the Church. In fact, it was not so many years ago that I saw no problem with the ordination of women. In my home parish as a child, I routinely saw laywomen preaching sermons, “liturgical dance” and every other sort of abuse of the liturgy. Perhaps the argument that convinced me was the argument from the Blessed Mother. In short: if anyone in human history was qualified to be a priest, to offer the Holy Sacrifice in atonement for human sin, it was Our Lady. If any person, male or female, was qualified to preach about Christ, it was Our Lady. If any person in human history was qualified to become the vocal leader of the Church, it was Our Lady. And yet, she was silent. Her Divine Son chose to ordain only sinful men, rather than his sinless mother whom He loved so very dearly. To argue that this arose from a hierarchical society is absurd: Our Lord ate with sinners and tax collectors, healed lepers and spent time in the company of women, listening and speaking to them. He forgave a woman caught in adultery, and also the woman at the well. He turned over the tables in the Temple, and He was brutally crucified. He was certainly not afraid of bucking customs!

    And yet he chose to ordain only men. Holy Mother Church has said quite clearly that the homily is reserved for the ordained (Priest/Deacon), and this woman was, obviously, not ordained. There is no doubt that the pastor is guilty of permitting a grave abuse of the liturgy, a grave abuse of his power, and has done a great disservice to the faithful who look to him for guidance.

    Pray and fast for priests. Write the Apostolic Administrator, Pastor, and Nuncio. This is no small matter.

  16. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Abaccio,

    Thanks for sharing. Am I wrong, or is there scripture to back up male priests only?

  17. avatar annonymouse says:

    Just to clarify, it does not have to be a priest, only an ordained. A deacon may also licitly proclaim the Gospel and preach the homily under canon law.

  18. avatar snowshoes says:

    Well put, Abaccio! Amen. This is no small matter, it is of the utmost seriousness because it involves the potential scandal of the little ones Our Lord referred to in last Sunday’s Gospel. It is formal disobedience of Christ in His Church, in the Mass. If Sister knows what she is doing, it is a mortal sin. No confirmed Catholic should sit quietly and witness a mortal sin in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. From my experience, do enlist the assistance of a good canon lawyer, or other experienced person to guide you through the process of writing letters. Everything in charity, step by step up the chain, calm persistence wins the race. As you write to the Pastor, then the AA, then if necessary, the Papal Nuncio, attach the previous correspondence to the next office, so those responsible will be able to read the whole history of your request to date. No need to rush, as Abaccio and other have said, pray and fast for our priests and parishes, and for the diocese as we await our new Shepherd. Holy Guardian Angels, pray for us!!

  19. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Ben,

    I clicked the link…can’t listen … maybe I’m doing something wrong?

  20. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Sallyanne, in my opinion, I think you have a heart for truth and that is why you are in touch with the dignity of the priesthood. And woman’s advocacy is important! Oppression of women remains, and grieves our Lord’s heart.

    I am thinking you might be interested in a old Journey Home program I watched online last week. Two Swedish women were interviewed, one in an active position of authority in her Diocese. She is a convert from an atheist family in an atheist society, so its real interesting how she got Catholic. She is a true feminist, then and now, and yet has no problem with male priests. She gets it. If you want to listen to this admirable woman tell her story, its here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxvXJ5X2NTc&list=SP97DC29A06F85B07E&index=13&feature=plpp_video This first half is her, and the 2nd half is another woman, quite different, who has been very much on my mind. Gods work in her once troubled soul is so evident. It is so exhilarating to see God’s handiwork!

    By the way, you can return to Mass any day. Just wait til your confession to receive communion. Meanwhile, at communion, you may ask to receive him spiritually. You will! And you will feel so blessed. It will be a comfort to be in His presence again in the Holy Mass. Realize at Consecration the altar is crowded with angels singing! God be with them! Make you Guardian angel happy!

  21. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I wish we could correct spelling! I meant, “GO be with them!”

  22. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Thanks Eliza10; Thanks Ben…

  23. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Thanks, Scott…good point!

  24. avatar Mike says:

    Sallyanne,

    The link Ben gave you works for me (after clicking on “Women and the Priesthood,” of course).

    Still, a direct link to the audio file might work better; try http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/09_priestesses/peter-kreeft_priestesses_.mp3

  25. avatar BigE says:

    @Abaccio,

    Technically, Jesus didn’t “ordain” anyone. And if Jesus’ historical actions were the sole basis of determining who is eligible for the priesthood; then all our priests should be jewish, and none of them should be black, hispanic, or asian. Just sayin….

    The stronger argument is that Christ himself was a man and/or that the unbroken tradition of the church is simply not to ordain women (not that I buy into those arguments, but I do believe they are stronger). Of course, neither of those arguments would hold for the diaconate. IMHO, women deacons would be a wonderful add for the church and would also allow them to preach. There’s really is no argument for not being able to ordain women as deacons.

    As for homilies – it’s sad that people who would probably make excellent homilists aren’t being heard, and men who are lousy homilists are forced to preach more often than even they (and many of us) would like. If someone has the education (degreed) and the gift, its a shame we can’t hear them from the pulpit.

  26. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    BigE,
    Which do you deny:
    1) that the ordinary and universal Magisterium is infallible
    or
    2) that the male-only priesthood hasn’t been taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium
    ?

  27. avatar Scott W. says:

    This is one of those issues not worth wasting time on. Women’s ordination of any kind is a fad, and like most spirit of Vatican II fads, it is circling the drain fast, and JPII nailed the coffin shut with OS. It is notable that after formidable giants like Hans Kung, there is no one replacing them anywhere near the same caliber. It’s another Chestertonian example of it looking like the Faith had gone to the dogs, but it was the dog that died. It is still important to warn people however that clinging to these fads leads only to bitterness and apostasy.

  28. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE –

    1. In eschatological terms, Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride. Male and female roles. Because the Priest stands “in persona Christi” in the liturgy, he must be male. It’s as simple as that. Perhaps you do not yet fully grasp that the Church is one rich in symbols – it would be unnatural and disordered for a female to stand “in persona Christi” in the liturgy, which is a symbolic precursor of the heavenly wedding feast.

    2. The deacon, if memory serves, is the icon of Christ the servant (as opposed to the priest as icon of Christ the High Priest). Perhaps the symbolism is not as strong in the theology of the deaconate as the priesthood, but nonetheless, the icon should be male as Christ is male.

    3. Don’t take this wrong, but YHO is not germane. We don’t get to vote.

    4. You would probably have a whole lot more peace in your life if you would stop being so obstinate in your dissidence and submit to the authority of the magisterium. Most converts, it seems to me, delight in submitting to the authority of the magisterium. You converted yet still hold fast to some very protestant beliefs. Let your heart FULLY embrace His Church!

  29. avatar TL says:

    I, too, was at the mass in question, and for those of you who asked about the Pastor, he in fact was the celebrant.

  30. avatar BigE says:

    @ben
    That the ordinary magisterium is infallible.

    @annonymouse
    Funny that you equate challenging and thinking with a lack of peace in one’s life. By your definition, Jesus was quite restless.

  31. avatar y2kscotty says:

    “St. Ambrose (Peace of Christ) has a pastor, do they not? Maybe the pastor is the first person to whom I’d complain.”

    Whaaat? You mean execise the Principle of Subsidiarity?

    By the way, we are coming to the 50th Anniversary of the Vatican II Council. On the first or second day, the assembled bishops rejected the Schemata that the Roman Curia put forth and asked for something else. What do you think of that?

  32. avatar Scott W. says:

    Whaaat? You mean execise the Principle of Subsidiarity?

    Actually, one’s bishop, as your ordinary, is your first stop and it is no violation of subsidiarity to start there and is fully allowed for in canon law. It is fine to start with the pastor if it is a matter of which he might be ignorant, but since we are talking about laity giving homilies, it is nigh-on impossible that the pastor is ignorant or that he didn’t green-light it himself.

  33. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “it is nigh-on impossible that the pastor is ignorant or that he didn’t green-light it himself.”

    Ans: when the rule first came out about lay preaching, priests were told that they could start the homily, talk for a few sentences, and then the laity could continue to comment on it after the priest and from the pulpit. This was the “way” around the rule. Now the priest does not even do the introduction. My opinion is that you keep the rule or petition to have it changed. But in the meantime, cut out the “games” and toe the line.

  34. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE – what teaching of Jesus involved overturning what the Jewish faith already taught? Love God with your whole heart, mind and soul? Deuteronomy. Love your neighbor as yourself? Leviticus.

    Jesus certainly called the leadership to constancy and to reject hypocrisy, and we should as well (isn’t that the point of this site?). But Jesus was, I’m sure, quite at peace because He embraced the faith He learned at His mother’s knee. He came not to overturn the law but to fulfill it!

    Your “challenging and thinking” is actually hubris. I’m still awaiting your answer to my question – what makes you smarter than Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI?

  35. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    it’s sad that people who would probably make excellent homilists aren’t being heard,

    It’s the 21st century. If what they have to say is so special, they can record their voices on a computer, upload it to the Internet, and make it available to billions of people. They will be heard… if what they have to say is so special.

    BigE,
    Next question… you said the universal and ordinary magisterium is not infallible, so do you
    1) deny the teachings of V2
    or
    2) deny that V2 taught that the ordinary and universal magisterium is infallible
    ?

  36. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    y2kscotty asked

    On the first or second day, the assembled bishops rejected the Schemata that the Roman Curia put forth and asked for something else. What do you think of that?

    I think that the council was being a council. Why don’t you just come out with what you’re getting at? What does it mean to you?

  37. avatar snowshoes says:

    As Ben asked, “Is this newsworthy?” and the answer is, if it were “just us” in attendance, (none of the “little ones” referred to by Our Lord were there), who know better, then no, we would just stand up and tell Sister to kindly sit down, and then when she had, we would entreat the Priest-Pastor celebrant to stop shirking his duty and preach the homily. Ben quite rightly observed that those involved in this laymen preaching sin have left full communion with Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mystical Body.

    Permit me to ask, who has given the layman fake-preacher the authority to give the “homily”? The obvious answer is nobody, because nobody has the authority to permit a layman to give the homily at Mass. So, for any ecclesiastic to give such false authorization is a direct misuse of his office. Such a serious sin removes the offending Bishop and priests from full communion, and is a gravely sinful act.

    What makes it all the worse is that the little ones are there, being swayed to support the wolf in sheep’s clothing instead of following the Good Shepherd. Ouai! Let us pray for all those involved that they will repent of this horrific sin and turn back to Our Lord and His Holy Church. St John Vianney, pray for us. Our Mother of Sorrows, pray for us.

  38. avatar militia says:

    Would it be permissible to put earmuffs on at such moments? I have some nice red fuzzy comfortable ones, and that way I wouldn’t have to leave and try to come back at just the right moment…..I would just see when the priest again stood up and I could remove the earmuffs. Ear plugs wouldn’t make as strong a statement. I vote for red earmuffs, or perhaps even color-coded to the vestments? Can we agree?

  39. avatar annonymouse says:

    “Color-coded to the vestments” – now THAT made me laugh!! Thou shalt laugh! Well played, Militia.

    I’ll go out to get my green and purple earmuffs now – I can ask for white and red for Christmas! If we really want to splurge, we’ll get pink earmuffs for Gaudete Sunday!

  40. avatar LC says:

    It is such a grace that this thread popped up. Seriously. I literally just got off the phone with a friend who’s teen daughter has just expressed that she feels “called” to the priesthood. Aside from sharing church teaching and praying for the family, what advice would give? What should they tell their daughter to guide her away from this sin? (Sorry if this isn’t something you want to address here, but I thought I would try everyone here first while I scheduled time to talk to the priest.)

  41. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I suggest a headset, to an ipod cast, or some music.

  42. avatar raymondfrice says:

    My departed father used to have a remedy for all of this, including too long and insipid homilies. In his middle eighties, he would tweek the control of his hearing aid and cause a very high pitched but penetrating tone to come out of it. Everyone within 15 feet would hear it, look around, and the homily would soon come to a conclusion.
    I always wondered why he insisted on sitting in the first row. He always said he could hear better there.

  43. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “I literally just got off the phone with a friend who’s teen daughter has just expressed that she feels “called” to the priesthood. Aside from sharing church teaching and praying for the family, what advice would give? What should they tell their daughter to guide her away from this sin? ”

    Tell her that she can no longer go out with boys because the priesthood involves celebacy.

  44. avatar snowshoes says:

    The honest and heart-wrenching question: What do I do when a layman gives a fake homily at Sunday Mass? Certainly pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance.

    We must refrain from drinking either flavor Kool-aid, either consenting, or leaving the Catholic Church in disgust.

    Getting up and leaving your pew, and going out in the vestibule or onto the front steps to pray is certainly acceptable, and I did this when the layman got up to fake preach. When at one point I discerned it was time to write, I was informed that the layman fake homily was authorized and that by absenting myself from the church during the fake layman homily, I did not fulfil my Sunday obligation. I was told by a canon lawyer that this assertion was utterly false. Rather, to condone such sinful behavior is the sin. One does indeed fulfil one’s Sunday obligation even if one absents oneself from the church during objectively mortally sinful public acts during the Sacred Liturgy.

    The liturgically correct colored earmuffs is a smashing idea, but might it be best to have at least two people participate, so that everyone knows something is up, and that you’re just not a lone Valley girl wandered in…? Of course, the same logic applies to leaving for the duration of the fake homily… Pray, pray, pray!

  45. avatar Hopefull says:

    God is not a sadist. He does not call people to vocations or other callings which they are not able to fulfill. Focus on ‘why’ someone feels called to be a priest. Why? And then listen very carefully. Christ called His disciples to be servants. Most women who talk of “wanting” to be priests mention presiding at Mass, confecting the Eucharist, using preaching talents, gathering converts, pastoring a parish in a “man’s” world, breaking down barriers for other women, etc…..and rarely mention abject, committed abandonment to service. The greatest service a would-be priest should be able to offer to the Church is obedience and faithfulness. The very wanting to do what Papal Authority has indicated is not possible is evidence of the lack of the very requirement of obedience. Once this is ‘discovered,’ there needs to be much prayer to lift the burden of wanting something to which she has no right, and seeking the righteous will of God.

    It is difficult to follow God’s will in such a matter when she has entertained that which is forbidden. It is like coveting a spouse who belongs to another. Or the greed of desiring many possessions and envying those who have even more. It is a great moral challenge needing spiritual help to overcome the temptation to grab what can only be given by God.

  46. avatar LC says:

    Thank you so much, Hopefull. I will share your wonderful words with her parents.

  47. avatar Scott W. says:

    For a rather dry academic answer–any call to the priesthood is dual: Interior and exterior. The interior of course is your personal call, but the exterior is determined by the Church. No exterior call, no vocation. It’s as simple as that. Since the Church never has had, does not have, and will never have the authority to ordain women, then any call to this is misplaced. Does that mean the interior call is wrong? No, there is probably some kind of call; just not necessarily to the object one thinks it is.

  48. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Discerning a call != “feeling” a call

  49. avatar Bernie says:

    I, personally, believe that it is simply wrong for me to cause a distraction during the liturgy. Quietly getting up and leaving for the duration of (what appears to be) an illicit homily is fine but making a show of it seems undignified for the liturgy.The ear muffs and similar approaches are funny to talk about but, of course, would also be in my opinion an abuse of the liturgy. Those kinds of things, I believe, would be fine in almost any secular setting, but not during the liturgy.

    I’ll meet with the priest, meet with bishop, write letters, protest with a sign outside the church, hold a rally, gather an action committee, but I won’t interrupt or distract from the liturgy. The abuse the liturgy suffers in this diocese is already bad enough.

    I

  50. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Hopeful!!

    Thank you for expanding on my rather facetious remark. God does call one to His company in the quiet of your soul and the Community (Church) is the group that gives you your job title and duties based on you personality and talents.

  51. avatar BigE says:

    @anonnymouse,
    1) working (healing)on the sabbath, violating purity laws (or at least allowing his disciples to) just off the top of my head. Putting upside down the jewish concept (teaching) of the time that people were punished for their sins.

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”

    2) non-sequitor. are you saying people AS smart and AS theologically trained (neither of which I am) as Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, or any Pope for that matter, have never challenged church teachings? That intelligence is the sole arbiter of truth?

    @ben
    1) so are you saying that what a priest says in a homily isn’t special? that being heard on the internet is the same as being heard in mass?

    2) Just to be clear, I didn’t say the “universal and ordinary” magisterium. I said the “ordinary magisterium”.

  52. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    BigE,
    Let’s try the original question again then:

    Which do you deny:
    1) that the ordinary and universal Magisterium is infallible
    or
    2) that the male-only priesthood hasn’t been taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium
    ?

    so are you saying that what a priest says in a homily isn’t special? that being heard on the internet is the same as being heard in mass?

    What I was saying is that it’s not like women are being suppressed, silenced, and marginalized by not being allowed to give homilies.

  53. avatar raymondfrice says:

    After the papal directive that women cannot be ordained priests, didn’t Father Joseph Hart write an article for the Catholic Courier stating the reasons why the pronouncement did not meet the criteria for infallibility??

  54. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    I’m speculating, Raymond, because I haven’t read that article, but assuming that’s what he said, he would be correct if he said that JP2 didn’t pronounce it ex cathedra. What he said is that it had already declared infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

  55. avatar Scott W. says:

    Exactly Ben. The dubium on OS is explicit: “This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.”

    It’s de fide, and there ain’t no use in pretending it isn’t.

  56. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    It’s de fide, and there ain’t no use in pretending it isn’t.

    To nuance it just a little further… From the cdf commentary on the professio fidei:
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfadtu.htm

    in the case of truths of the first paragraph, the assent is based directly on faith in the authority of the Word of God (doctrines de fide credenda); in the case of the truths of the second paragraph, the assent is based on faith in the Holy Spirit’s assistance to the Magisterium and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium (doctrines de fide tenenda).

  57. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    the male-only priesthood falls into the second paragraph (as would the intrinsically evil nature of contraception). I’m more guessing on this one, but I believe the sspx society’s beef with v2 would fall into the 2nd para as well. There’s more here:
    http://cleansingfire.org/2012/07/the-infallibility-of-the-magisterium-the-male-only-priesthood-and-the-intrinsically-evil-nature-of-contraception/

  58. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    A couple more points… It’s possible that doctrines that currently fall into the 2nd paragraph could one day be promoted to the 1st.

    And someone who denies doctrines in the 2nd paragraph does not fall into heresy. Instead the wording is “no longer in full communion”. I believe it’s important we get this right. We ought not call people who push for women’s ordination heretics no matter how much damage they are inflicting on the Church. They may be heretics on other accounts (I believe the teaching on the intrinsically evil nature of homosexual acts is clearly taught in scripture and thus 1st paragraph), but we (those who value orthodoxy) must be the ones to get this right. It is the other side who wishes to deceive and muddy the waters. We must do our best to clear them. I encourage everyone to spend some time and read these documents. It may seem daunting at first, but you can grasp it all without too much effort… and the DOR which be in much better hands if the lay faithful in every parish could intelligently discuss these nuances.

  59. avatar BigE says:

    @ben
    1) I’m denying that the teaching on the ordination of women meets the criteria for being declared infallible.
    2) and I never said women were being suppressed either. In fact, I didn’t even mention women. You’re the one who went there. My comment pertained to “any” non- ordained (which would include lay men) who might be effective homilists. But I guess we shouldn’t let common sense stand in the way of a good rule! 🙂

  60. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    You’re the one who went there.

    my apologies

    But I guess we shouldn’t let common sense stand in the way of a good rule!

    your opinion != common sense. I could just as easily call my opinion common sense.

    I’m denying that the teaching on the ordination of women meets the criteria for being declared infallible.

    Question: So how does BigE go about determining whether a particular doctrine has been declared infallibly?

  61. avatar BigE says:

    @Ben
    1) no problem my brother…
    2) My common sense tells me that people hunger for the best possible homilies which would require the best homilists to preach….”Recent surveys in both a major east coast and a major western diocese found that American Catholics find the preaching at Mass to be one of the least satisfactory aspects of church life.” (http://www.catholiccommentaryonsacredscripture.com/2012/05/02/pope-benedict-the-quality-of-homilies-needs-to-be-improved/) I’m not sure what your common sense is telling you about homilies.
    3) By researching the discussion and debate.

  62. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    If on;y a priest doce in and tackeled the hard issues: hopmosexuality, birth control, premarital sex and abortion.

    But there are many obsticles. I think priestly formation on these issues is lacking in seminary. And I would have to assume, until corrected, that they carry their knowledge, or lack thereof, into their ministry.

    It’s like not training physiciand how to prescribe antibiotics for pneumonia.

    The only solution is for faithful bishops to mandate continuing education for their priests and then encourage them to preach.

    And there are many sources to learn about these issues: NARTH, COURAGE, The Catholic Medical Association, One More Soul, The American Life League.

    As a matter of fact, these sources are good references for all of us.

  63. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    I have noticed that Catholic priests generally are not well schooled or talented as preachers. When you hear a good and interesting homily, it’s rare. I’m wondering if possibly that is because priests have not experienced marriage and children, pain, disappointment, chaos, etc, regarding family matters. Think about it. It’s not unusual that an unmarried person (secular) comes across as selfish and self centered simply because of their lack of what we would call normalcy. A man enters the seminary a young man, surrounded by other unmarried men, none of them have children. All of them are celibate (or supposed to be). How can they understand the average person and what they go through? Most of us discuss issues that have touched our lives. That makes us interesting.

  64. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Sallyeanne:

    “Think about it. It’s not unusual that an unmarried person (secular) comes across as selfish and self centered simply because of their lack of what we would call normalcy.”

    Unmarried people are not normal????tsk tsk Selfish?? Tell Blessed Mother Theresa that tonight at night prayers.
    If your comparison holds true, all obstetricians and gynecologists should be female in order to do their jobs really well.

  65. avatar Dr. K says:

    Where is this assumption coming from that lay preachers are better homilists than priests or deacons? The ones I have heard were terrible.

  66. avatar iteachthefaith says:

    Richard Thomas says:

    October 5, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    If on;y a priest doce in and tackeled the hard issues: hopmosexuality, birth control, premarital sex and abortion.

    May I suggest you attend mass at Our Lady of Victory….excellent homilies.

  67. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    RaymondFRice,

    I should have worded it differently. Basically, I was talking about priests. They are celibate; they do not father children; they do not have to deal with the problems that most people have to deal with, namely, raising children, having to put other family members first, children, spouse, etc. They can’t understand that responsibility. To add to that, we can’t understand what they have to deal with. When my husband died, I attended a grief group. Everybody there had recently lost someone dear to them. The leader, however, was a young, unmarried female. Of course she was compassionate. Of course she understood a lot about grief, that which comes from study, but she didn’t really understand. She couldn’t. I should not have “labeled” unmarried people as selfish. I know that’s not true, but in the sense of understanding family problems, they can’t. My husband was a Viet Nam veteran. He knew what it meant to be in a life and death situation. He knew how it felt to be hunted down, the fear, the horror of it all. I could listen and I could comfort him, but not as well as if I, myself, had experienced the same thing. I would say that another Viet Nam veteran and he would be able to engage in a much more meaningful and healing conversation. Married people are selfish too, so I was wrong to “label”

  68. avatar Scott W. says:

    Where is this assumption coming from that lay preachers are better homilists than priests or deacons? The ones I have heard were terrible.

    Indeed. The few quasi-homilies I heard form layman were the usual pablum of Leftist therapeutic deism. To wit: show me a layman preaching the Four Last Things, the societal evils of contraception, homosexualism, and abortion, that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Our Lord, then we can talk.

  69. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Iteach the faith,

    Excuse the spelling. It was written late at nite but there is no excuse.

    What I meant is that we need every priest to preach like that. If and when that happens, things will change.

  70. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    RICHARD THOMAS WROTE: If on;y a priest doce in and tackeled the hard issues: hopmosexuality, birth control, premarital sex and abortion.

    But there are many obsticles. I think priestly formation on these issues is lacking in seminary. And I would have to assume, until corrected, that they carry their knowledge, or lack thereof, into their ministry.

    It’s like not training physiciand how to prescribe antibiotics for pneumonia.

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Richard.

  71. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Another thought:

    Sin, in the Catholic Church, is defined clearly. It’s not talked about, however. I think it’s interesting that one of the worst sins, (child sexual abuse) has spread it’s ugly head throughout The Church. Now, we have to deal with it. It’s a terrible thing, child sexual abuse. It affects the child for the rest of his/her life, yet it was pushed under the rug (through ignorance, I think) with the belief that it will go away.

  72. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Just wondering why nobody on this blog is talking about the recent scandal at the Vatican…

  73. avatar Dr. K says:

    “Just wondering why nobody on this blog is talking about the recent scandal at the Vatican…”

    Do you have any thoughts you would care to offer?

  74. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K.,

    Yes, actually I do. I’m wondering why nobody is talking about it. It’s fair to say it’s newsworthy and fitting for discussion on this blog. I assume most of you have been reading about it and are well informed. That’s just an assumption; however, I think it’s a legitimate assumption. I’d like to learn more about it from Cleansing Fire. From what I can gather, documents destined for destruction, documents naming business dealings with companies who worked for the Vatican were not intended to be exposed to the public. And it’s been said (correct me if I’m wrong) that the Vatican (not sure who said it, but I know it was either the Pope or a higher up) indicated that the Devil is trying to destroy the Church. That indicates to me that something is not quite right and that it was intended to be hidden. I’m thinking that because the Church and its teaching is a very important component to the basis of all truth and argument of what is right and wrong (at least that has been my perception) by many Cleansing Fire members and Staff that possibly the members of this blog are hesitant to criticize the very foundation for which they stand. (No sarcasm intended)

  75. avatar Ludwig says:

    Just wondering why nobody on this blog is talking about the recent scandal at the Vatican…

    This should probably be taken to the forum, instead of having this conversation under the “Sr. Marlene” thread, eh?

  76. avatar militia says:

    If what SallyAnne is talking about is the leak of documents by the Pope’s butler, then I agree that the conviction (yesterday) should be a separate discussion on this site. And the Forum would be an excellent way for SallyAnne to begin her thread (or for anyone else to begin the thread). SallyAnne, just go to Discussion Board and to the general posting area to start your own thread. Many of those who comment may not realize they can do this.

    However, I would point out that the trial was limited to introducing the evidence of theft and the butler’s confessing to it….which all seems pretty clear. The court did not have to go into more details, like motivation. It was open and shut with the conviction. It just seems like an employee-gone-disloyal. Happens all the time.

    Does the media want any excuse to speculate on motive? If so, why would we want to abet the wider speculation? Where is the scandal, except in the minds of those imputing motives to the Holy Father and others, and spreading their speculation as truth? The Vatican showed an amazing amount of openness in even letting the matter come to light, let alone to trial. But would any amount of openness satisfy the media hounds, let alone the anti-Catholic media hounds?

    However, if SallyAnne wants to write a thread for the Discussion Board that stays within appropriate bounds, it should be more than speculation on motives, but should include the research, data and links we’ve come to expect on CF, IMO.

  77. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Militia,

    Thank you for the suggestion. I am relatively new here and didn’t realize that was an option.

    I do hear defensivness in your writing, though. Please correct me if I’m wrong. After I made my post, I did some Googling and learned that a book has been published (Cant’ tell you the name of it at this moment). I’m not sure if this was the motive of the accused, leaking information for funds, but I’ll attempt to request a thread and possibly it will be accepted. Possibly then, we will learn more about it.

    MILITIA: The Vatican showed an amazing amount of openness in even letting the matter come to light, let alone to trial. But would any amount of openness satisfy the media hounds, let alone the anti-Catholic media hounds?

    I agree with you, they did. However, to cover up at this point would make the Vatican look worse, I think. Selfish people exist, even in the Vatican, and sin persists regardless of the venue. Media exposure was kept at a minimum, though. As far as the media being hounds, yes, they are and of course, like a lot of the sinful motives in society, money is the root. As far as the media hounds being against Catholics, I’d say the most powerful institutions become the biggest targets. The Catholic Church is the most powerful Church in the world. This makes for a huge story, so I’d say possibly the Church did a good job of hurrying this along and keeping the exposure at a minimum. Here, on Cleansing Fire, exposing and battling sin (although initially in the Diocese of Rochester, NY, and I do understand after much bantering that you do have the right to fight against what is going on in your own diocese, especially if your money and support is being used) is the objective of this blog.

  78. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    BigE,
    You said you determine the Church’s infallible teachings “by researching the discussion and debate.” What facts would you find in your research that would make you say, “yes, that particular teaching is infallible”?

  79. avatar militia says:

    If my writing shows any defensiveness (and I’m not sure that it does), it is perhaps because all the rights in this matter are on the side of the Pope and the Vatican, which is a Sovereign nation, and no rights are on the side of the media. There is no reason for the Vatican to accommodate the media, period. It would be a bad precedent, in my opinion. If you start a thread on the Discussion Board, I cmight say more, but for now I’d like to just respect the theme of this thread which has more than enough left to say.

  80. avatar BigE says:

    @ben
    Just to be clear: I don’t determine the infallibility of anything. And the infallible issue isn’t a big concern of mine until it starts to get used to squash discussion. Then I get a little rankled. But to answer your question, the facts I would be interested in are:
    1) the various definitions floating around as to what makes a teaching infallible
    2) the discussion/debate around how a particular teaching then fits within those definitions.
    I find it interesting, and telling, that the church has NEVER officially defined an “infallible list of infallible teachings”. The creeds are about as close as it gets. She is wise in that way.

  81. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE –

    I did not come to overturn the law but to fulfill it.

    You are and have been saying that 3 popes are dead-on wrong on a serious moral question and that you are right. You claim you aren’t as intelligent or as well theologically trained as any of the three – then on what basis do you claim to be right on this question?

    AND as to your give-and-take with Ben, when you deny that the Church’s teaching on the ordination of women is infallible, are you not determining what is and is not infallible?

    And do you think you could possibly be more filled with hubris in the way you approach these serious (i.e. grave, mortal) issues of morality? Give it up – come FULLY into the Church!! Assent and God will give you the grace to then understand!

  82. avatar BigE says:

    @Annonymouse

    I never made any claims about being right. No where. I find it interesting that you equate searching, questioning, discussion, and challenge, with rightness and hubris. That very much sounds like a position of fear to me. Thomas Merton must have thought the same thing when he said:

    “There can be no question that the great crisis in the Church today is the crisis of authority brought on by the fact that the Church, as institution and organization, has in practice usurped the place of the Church as a community of persons united in love and in Christ. On the one hand, love is announced and “instilled”’ but, on the other, it is equated with obedience and conformity within the framework of an impersonal corporation. This means too often that in practice love is overshadowed by intolerance, suspicion and fear. Authority becomes calculating and anxious, and discredits itself by nervously suppressing an imagined opposition before the opposition really takes shape. In so doing, it creates opposition. The Church is preached as a communion, but is run as a collectivity, and even as a totalitarian collectivity. . . . It may mean the complete destruction of the Church as a powerful institution.”

    And btw, I’m not as intelligent or as theologically well trained as Thomas Merton either…..

  83. avatar Hopefull says:

    THOMAS MERTON!!! Now that is a really poor example to follow or learn from. The priest who broke his chastity vows with his nurse? Who isolated himself in a separate building from his community, and then entertained friends through the back gate? Who exempted himself from the “routine” of cloistered life and pressured his abbott to let him travel? Who pursued fame for himself by using a Trappist cloak? Who attained notoriety for the wrong kind of spirituality and has since been a justification for every wanna-do-it-my-way religious or priest? Better come up with a better authority than Thomas Merton.

  84. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    BIG E: TO RESPOND TO YOUR POST:

    I never made any claims about being right. No where. I find it interesting that you equate searching, questioning, discussion, and challenge, with rightness and hubris. That very much sounds like a position of fear to me. Thomas Merton must have thought the same thing when he said:

    “There can be no question that the great crisis in the Church today is the crisis of authority brought on by the fact that the Church, as institution and organization, has in practice usurped the place of the Church as a community of persons united in love and in Christ. On the one hand, love is announced and “instilled”’ but, on the other, it is equated with obedience and conformity within the framework of an impersonal corporation. This means too often that in practice love is overshadowed by intolerance, suspicion and fear. Authority becomes calculating and anxious, and discredits itself by nervously suppressing an imagined opposition before the opposition really takes shape. In so doing, it creates opposition. The Church is preached as a communion, but is run as a collectivity, and even as a totalitarian collectivity. . . . It may mean the complete destruction of the Church as a powerful institution.”

    And btw, I’m not as intelligent or as theologically well trained as Thomas Merton either…..
    I AGREE WITH YOU! I AGREE WITH YOU! I AGREE WITH YOU!

  85. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Sallyanne,

    The authority argument has been used by dissenters since Vatican II to justify their proclaiming and fostering heretetical beliefs in the church. This has been rampent in Rochester. I would have to say there are too many with this belief and too few of those who maintain obedience to the Majesterium.

    But I do agree that we as Catholics can never be impersonal in our interactions.

    But when the dissenters came to power, they were much more authoritarian than anyone who tried to proclaim the majesterial teachings.

    I present the Catholic Physician’s guild who were suppressed in the 1990’s for merely proclaiming the CHurch’s teachings on homosexuality.

  86. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    sallyanne,
    You are one more comment away from being banned permanently. I’ve repeatedly asked you not to attack people. It really isn’t that confusing and I don’t have time to moderate everything you write. (for those wondering, none of the comments you see is the one to which I’m referring)

  87. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    BigE

    1) the various definitions floating around as to what makes a teaching infallible

    1) and which definition to you subscribe to? are you aware that the Church offers definitions?

    I find it interesting, and telling, that the church has NEVER officially defined an “infallible list of infallible teachings”. The creeds are about as close as it gets.

    This is simply false. If you’re looking for one, all-encompassing document, then you may be correct… although the CCC is heavily footnoted and may offer a pretty good list if you follow the links properly. Anyways, it’s completely false if you’re implying that the Church hasn’t offered an opinion on the infallibility of the teachings to which you are disputing. As far as refuting the Catholic Church’s claims, I’d suggest you go to this post and pick up the discussion there:
    http://cleansingfire.org/2012/07/the-infallibility-of-the-magisterium-the-male-only-priesthood-and-the-intrinsically-evil-nature-of-contraception/

    I would like to continue poking at your beliefs, though, which I believe is a rejection of fundamental claims of Catholicism and thus protestant in reality. I have another question for you:

    Do you believe that the Church’s teaching on Mary’s immaculate conception may be incorrect? Why or why not?

  88. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Sorry, Ben…

  89. avatar BigE says:

    @Hopefull
    How can you not see the irony in your statement?

    @Richard Thomas
    I agree 100% with you. The freedom of discussion and debate needs to swing both ways and conserative/orthodox views have often gotten short thrifted around here. That’s not right either.

    @Sallyanne
    When you can’t attack the idea…attack the person. It’s called an Ad Hominem.

    @Ben
    1) of course the church offers definitions. The differences come in how those definitions are interpreted.
    2) I haven’t rejected any Catholic claims. I follow them all. What I’ve done is question them as I’m following them.
    3) I believe the teaching to be correct because it is believed by the whole church.

  90. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    1) of course the church offers definitions. The differences come in how those definitions are interpreted.

    Once again, would you please tell us what definition you subscribed to? The Church tells us that there are 3 ways in which teachings can be known to be infallible. You have yet to tell us you subscribe to any.

    2) I haven’t rejected any Catholic claims. I follow them all. What I’ve done is question them as I’m following them.

    but indeed you have. The thing that separates Catholicism from all other flavors of Christianity is authority – an authority which you seem to reject. When the pope states that a teaching is infallible (OS) and this is confirmed by the prefect of the CDF (commentary on the professio fidei) and that those who don’t believe (note: not just people who don’t act on these beliefs by attempting to ordain women or use contraception, but those won’t don’t BELIEVE) have separated themselves from full communion with the Church – this is a fundamental rejection of Catholicism. How would you say that you are not rejecting that authority?

    3) I believe the teaching to be correct because it is believed by the whole church.

    So, would it be correct to say that this is only way in which you determine infallibility? And what is your definition of “whole church”?

  91. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE – do you place what Thomas Merton had to say higher than what the Holy Father has to say? I respect Merton and have read a good bit of his writings but he was, after all, a humble if rather verbose monk and not someone whose calling and responsibility is the shepherding of souls. Not someone to whose teachings Roman Catholics are called to give assent.

    I am concerned about you – despite converting to the Catholic Faith, you seem unable or unwilling to submit to the authority of its authentic teachers. Why do you think that is?

    And on the matter of artificial contraception, I don’t see you questioning or thinking – you’ve made up your mind. I suspect that to change your mind (and/or your spouse’s) to conform to the Church’s paradigm of sexuality would mean an infringement on your sexual liberties/license, and you’re not willing to entertain that possibility. So you carry on, under a misguided banner of “personal conscience.” And therefore you continue to doubt and question the very teachers Our Lord left us to shepherd us.

  92. avatar BigE says:

    @ben

    oops – I hit the send button too quick

    Infallibly taught:
    1) based on scripture or unbroken tradition or both.
    2) Declared Ex Cathedra or
    3) by a solemn defintition by a valid ecumenical council or
    4) by a teaching by the bishops, in full communion, with the intent to declare a teaching infallible
    5) accepted by the faithful
    Canon 749.3 – No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly the case.

  93. avatar BigE says:

    @ben again,

    “A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation—baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist—but the process by which one becomes a Catholic can take different forms.”
    Jimmy Akin http://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/how2.htm

    What does it mean to be in Full Communion with the Catholic Church?
    – Being in Full Communion with the Catholic Church means that one has been fully initiated into the Catholic Faith. Such a person has been baptized in one of the Christian church traditions and has also celebrated the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation in the Catholic Church.
    – For a married person to be in Full Communion with the Catholic Church also means being married according to the norms of the Catholic Church. Catholics are required to be married by a Catholic priest or deacon, or to have received a dispensation from the local bishop to be married in a church of the faith tradition of the person who is not Catholic.
    Fr. Richard Eldridge T.O.R. http://www.gscc.net/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=d%2BVurpmLPYM%3D&tabid=173&mid=768

  94. avatar Hopefull says:

    I see no irony at all in what I said about the well-known faults of Thomas Merton, but I can imagine that those looking for any authority rather than the genuine magisterial teaching of the Church will balk at criticism of Thomas Merton, more guru than shepherd, and therefore I expect Big E will share with us such irony as he/she sees. But consider rhe context.

    The irony I see in Merton’s legacy is that there are people who almost worship him or act as if he is a saint. Do you see any serious proposals for his canonization? No, and I doubt there will be. Moreover, Merton seems to have been so tightly woundup inside himself and his own spirituality, there is also an irony that anyone seeking a spiritual path would consider the ‘me’ path, which feel-good spirituality contradicts Christ’s call to sacrifice with Him.

    What do you know of the stories of damage to novice souls in formation under his brief direction and pseudo-psycho-analysis? Yes, Merton’s books have a modern-day popularity, but usually among those who haven’t read Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Augustine, the Little Flower, Faustina, Thomas a Kempis, Francis de Sales, in which the reader senses the particular relationship of each with God. After reading the work of such saints, one can easily gag on Merton, fighting the laying down of his ego, let alone his life for the flock.

  95. avatar BigE says:

    @Hopefull
    The irony is to say don’t listen to anything Merton has to say because of his scandal, but do listen attentively to a church also currently wracked with scandal. Just sayin….

  96. avatar annonymouse says:

    But BigE, you’ve neglected to state the ways in which one may become no longer in full communion with the Catholic Church.

    Obstinate denial of truths which one must believe is one such way. Obstinate persistence in grave sin is another.

    Just sayin… .

  97. avatar BigE says:

    @annonymouse
    Declare oneself no longer Catholic and/or go join another faith tradition.

  98. avatar BigE says:

    @anonnymouse
    oops forgot…or have the church declare you not Catholic.

  99. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Does anyone have references as to the scandal associated with Merton? Thanks

  100. avatar Hopefull says:

    Big E wrote: “The irony is to say don’t listen to anything Merton has to say because of his scandal, but do listen attentively to a church also currently wracked with scandal. Just sayin….”

    This response spotlights the problem with Big E’s communications. I didn’t say “don’t listen to anything Merton has to say because of his scandal….” but rather that Merton is a really poor example to follow or learn from.” The fruit, actually lack of fruit, proves that. And I gave reasons, particularly involving the way it has been reported that he lived his own life. No one is perfect, but one would hope to see reform and repentance, not an ever sliding down hill. One would hope to see alignment to the magisterium, not dodging obligations. One would hope to see a vow to God being kept. One can ‘listen’ but hopefully neither obey nor emulate Thomas Merton.

    The second half of what Big E wrote showcases the issue of his/her own issues: “do listen attentively to a church also currently wracked with scandal.” Big E, you seem to have a significant confusion between the Church and the individuals who make up the Church. Yes I am saying do listen attentively, and more than that….I am saying “obey” the Church as Christ established her, to Whom He gave authority to bind and loose. I am not saying than any people as individuals should be followed in their personal sins or scandals. There has always been (and will be) sin and scandal. I am saying that the Church, protected for all time by the Holy Spirit, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, has the authority to command our obedience, as well as the obedience of any who cause such scandals.

    The Church is far more than the sum total of the sins of her members and of her clergy. I think that is what you find so difficult to bear, and you rail against her like a fish flip-flopping in the net, without realizing the net is the arms of Jesus. You fight His omnipotence, His design of His Church, wanting others to side with you and they don’t. Do you really think that a thousand posters on this site who agree with you could ever give you peace? Wouldn’t you still be needing the 1001st for yet more consolation or solidarity? As is so often said, people of faith need no further proof, and for those without faith, no proof will suffice. Just sayin’….

  101. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE – and to paraphrase my earlier post, one becomes no longer in communion when one separates oneself by one’s obstinate beliefs contrary to those of the Church.

    With respect to Merton, I have long wondered why, given the rich library of spiritual writing he left, there has been (apparently) no move to canonize the man. I was not aware of the sordid side mentioned above – that explains much and answers my question, not to mention casts a shadow on anything of his I read.

    Bottom line – I’ll take our Holy Fathers as a more reliable source of authentic Catholic teaching than good Father Louis. And you should, too, E.

  102. avatar BigE says:

    @anonnymouse
    That is your definition and not one used by church. Do you have something that supports your position?

  103. avatar BigE says:

    @hopeful
    1) Semantics. “Don’t learn from” = don’t listen.
    2) Lack of fruit? Merton is considered to be one of the most prolific and influential Catholic authors of the 20th century.
    3) I have to smile. I question some “sexual” issues within the Church and now I’m “railing” against her, fighting Jesus, and have no peace in my heart? As if the church’s deep wisdom is wrapped up in those couple of issues. Please, let’s have a little perspective.
    4) I’m not looking for, nor expect, any posters on this site to take my side. I’m just simply trying to have the dialogue. I enjoy it and learn from it. I think our church needs more such dialogue without having to demonize those with differing opinions or views (see #3 above, and btw, many of my ilk are just as guilty of demonizing those on this site – which is also not good).

  104. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE – if you’d take the time to read John Paul’s Theology of the Body instead of “prolific and influential” Merton, it’s hard to imagine any more important issues than those concerning human sexuality. You scoff and think these “sexual” issues are peripheral. Not so – not when you stop to think that seven billion human persons on earth were created by God through the sexual union of man and woman. Then you realize that these issues are indeed at the very heart of God’s plan for mankind. In the Church’s (and we believe, God’s) paradigm of sexuality, you simply cannot find any more important issues than these.

    P.S. I think you’ll find that John Paul was a pretty prolific and brilliant writer in his own right.

  105. avatar annonymouse says:

    E – check out canons 750-751.

    Even though not causing separation from communion, you may wish to read canon 752. Didn’t you basically swear an oath similar to what’s included in 752 when you entered the Church?

  106. avatar BigE says:

    @Anonnymouse
    1) I’ve read JP’s theology of the body.
    2) Can. 752: Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium.
    3)”This raises the question of the nature of the “religious submission” of will and mind and the question of dissent. Precisely what does this entail?….Rather, they recognized that a theologian (or other well-informed Catholic) might not in conscience be able to give internal assent to some teachings….The Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has addressed this matter. It recognized that theologians (and others) might question not only the form but even the substantive content of some authoritatively proposed magisterial teachings. It held that it is permissible in such instances to withhold assent, to raise questions (and present them to the magisterium), to discuss the issues with other theologians (and be humble enough to accept criticism of one’s own views by them). Theologians (and others) can propose their views as hypotheses to be considered and tested by other theologians and ultimately to be judged by those who have, within the Church, the solemn obligation of settling disputes and speaking the mind of Christ….But it taught one is not giving a true obsequium religiosum if one dissents from magisterial teaching and proposes one’s own position as a position that the faithful are at liberty to follow, substituting it for the teaching of the magisterium….”
    (From Dr. William E. May, Professor of Moral Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C. May served on the International Theological Commission from 1986 through 1997 and during those years worked closely with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)
    http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2006/wmay_authority_nov06.asp

  107. avatar Hopefull says:

    @Big E

    “1) Semantics. Don’t learn from” = don’t listen.” Not quite; learning implies a change of hert; listening is just paying attention. But I’ll give you “Semantics.”

    “2) Lack of fruit? Merton is considered to be one of the most prolific and influential Catholic authors of the 20th century.” Prolific and influential? So are the romance writers who crunch out a book a week.

    3) If the show fits….well, maybe i got too close to home on #3?

    4) “I’m just simply trying to have the dialogue. I enjoy it and learn from it.” That is good to hear, but begs the question “why?” Are we talking entertainment value? Or a serious desire to know and be willing to change? Has any of this ‘dailogue’ produced any change in opinion or mindset for you?

  108. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    BigE said:

    Infallibly taught:
    1) based on scripture or unbroken tradition or both.
    2) Declared Ex Cathedra or
    3) by a solemn defintition by a valid ecumenical council or
    4) by a teaching by the bishops, in full communion, with the intent to declare a teaching infallible
    5) accepted by the faithful
    Canon 749.3 – No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly the case.

    you missed one:
    canon 749

    §2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching… when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.

    §3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.

    It is manifestly evident that the teaching of an all-male priesthood meets this requirement and that is exactly what JP2 said and Ratzinger confirmed. In my post I’ve linked to a plethora of times, the case is also made about contraception.

    BigE

    Can. 752: Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will

    let’s not go there yet… we are talking about infallible doctrines (all-male priesthood and contraception) that do require an assent of faith – read the commentary on the professio fidei (I’m getting tired of linking to it).

    As to your quotes about coming into full communion in the Catholic Church, the sacrament of confirmation presupposes that the individual has accepted all the truths of the Catholic Church (absolutely and especially the infallible ones). As the CCC states:

    1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith

    So, someone who goes through confirmation and denies infallible teachings in their heart is either misinformed (in which case they are not culpable and I assume are in full communion) or are informed and yet refusing an assent of faith… well, I suppose they’d be in more communion than they were before (I’m sure the theology around that is legitimately disputed), but it would be a less-than-full communion from the get-go.

    Let me ask you this, BigE. If I said to you, “nah, I don’t believe in the immaculate conception… I don’t think it’s believed by the whole church.” Would that be acceptable in your mind?

  109. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    whoops, I misspoke. You didn’t miss one, you just didn’t phrase it correctly:

    4) by a teaching by the bishops, in full communion, with the intent to declare a teaching infallible

    It doesn’t say they have to declare it to be infallible – it says “they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.”

    I’ll dig up more about that distinction in the future.

  110. avatar BigE says:

    @Hopefull,
    1) Glad we can agree on something.
    2) Just ’cause you don’t like grapes, that doesn’t mean they’re not fruit. Same with Merton’s writings.
    3) Not even close. But feel free to keep insisting that’s the case.
    4) I think I answered that question. I enjoy debate and dialogue because I learn from it. It forces me to think critically and be able to articulate what I believe. It helps me to understand what others believe and why they believe it. Really, that’s it. If you’re in conversations just to change people’s minds, you’re going to get very frustrated.

  111. avatar BigE says:

    @Ben
    We’ve had this debate before.
    1) Exactly how has the college of bishops agreed “in full communion”, that the teaching regarding women’s ordination, is to be held definatively and absolutely?
    2) Relative to an individual’s full communion with the church; your conflating issues. Annonymouse’s claim was relative to ALL teachings (I believe). Your talking about infallible teachings AND infallible teachings we don’t even agree are infallible. So I’m not even sure how to respond to your question. But if you need a response, please see the quote I posted from Dr. William May to Anonnymouse.
    3) As for your last question regarding the Immaculate Conception; no, that would not be acceptable in my mind.

  112. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE – I do not believe that you’ve really read John Paul’s Theology of the Body. Can you give a cite on that?

    And unless you’re a theologian, Dr. May’s quote does not apply to you as one of the Faithful. Non-starter there, E. And the right of a theologian to question does not give the theologian the right to disregard (in action) the magisterial teaching. Unless we’re theologians, you and I are required to give religious submission of intellect and will, and Dr. May will be the first to tell you that.

  113. avatar BigE says:

    @Anonnymouse
    1) He said: “Theologian (OR WELL INFORMED CATHOLIC)” then later also added “the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has addressed this matter. It recognized that theologians (AND OTHERS) might question…(capitalization is mine for emphasis).
    2) I always said/agreed we had to follow the teaching even if we didn’t believe it internally. You then claimed not believing it internally seperated one from the church – so this latest distinction of yours was never at issue. I’ve now shown you that the church does in fact allow people to question teachings and remain in full communion.
    3) Sure…http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tbind.htm

  114. avatar snowshoes says:

    I believe Blessed Pope JPII used Scripture and unbroken tradition as the basis for the definition on ordination being reserved to male Catholics. And as Hopefull (I think) so beautifully said, it is the desire to obey in love that shows us the working of the Holy Spirit in our souls. That decision of the will to give assent to this teaching and all other teachings of the Church, comes from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Who works with our free will, to enlighten our mind and heart to know and love the Way, the Truth and the Life, our Lord Jesus. We are so blessed to have a Holy Father who loves us so much, and who so diligently strives to teach us and care for us. Our main job as Catholics is to respond with loving obedience to Pope Benedict XVI, the Vicar of Christ on earth. Then we will live a happy life. Blessed Kateri, pray for us. See you at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs on Sunday, 21 October for the Mass to celebrate the Canonization of Saint Kateri!

  115. avatar annonymouse says:

    BIGE –

    If you’ll go back and read all of what Dr. May has written in this article, you will find that it absolutely refutes everything you’ve been arguing. You have incorrectly proof-texted his paragraph which accords theologians the right to withhold assent and question – presuming you are not a theologian (“and others” does not mean all of the Faithful and it is dishonest to think it does), this simply does not apply. Moreover, Dr. May makes quite clear that this does not give theologians (“or others”) the right to dissent, which is something you inarguably are doing by your support of artificial contraception, homosexual marriage and female ordination.

    You really ought to be more judicious in your selection of supporting documents – Dr. May impeaches everything you’ve put forth in your responses to me, to Ben and everyone else!

    With respect to the Theology of the Body, are you telling me that you’ve read every one of the Pope’s 62 general audience promulgations that make up the ToB?

  116. avatar annonymouse says:

    Mr. E –

    If you’ll go to the source which Dr. May is speaking of:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19900524_theologian-vocation_en.html

    you’ll find that “and others” appears to refer not to the Faithful (as you’d like to think it means) but to Bishops and their advisors. The entire context of that CDF document is the relationship of theological inquiry and the Magisterium.

    If you are familiar with Dr. May, I don’t think you could find a source less sympathetic to your position, or more damning to the many points you’ve labored to make!

  117. avatar BigE says:

    @Anonnymouse
    1) – You are conflating the issues of “withholding assent” and “dissent”. Dr May wrote: “Rather, they recognized that a theologian (or other well-informed Catholic) might not in conscience be able to give internal assent to some teachings. They thus spoke of “withholding assent” and raising questions, but this is a far cry from “dissent.”
    2) – You claimed no one could not withhold assent from a teaching and be in full communion with the church did you not? Dr. May makes it clear that is not true (and he is clear to distinguish between withholding assent vs dissent). Or did I misunderstand your position?

  118. avatar annonymouse says:

    big E –

    Dr. May is referencing a document that simply DOES NOT apply to you – it’s a CDF document that applies to theologians (and bishops and their advisors) ONLY. You’ve lifted this out of context and make the rash and misguided assumption that Dr. May is talking about you. He is not.

    You are, as a Roman Catholic, expected to give your assent to all of the magisterium’s teachings. You continue to mistakenly think that you don’t have to do so unless a teaching is infallibly taught, and you stubbornly continue to argue what is and is not infallibly taught. Theologians are allowed to “question” and even “withhold assent” but they are not allowed to dissent, and we (if Faithful Catholics) are allowed to do NEITHER!

    The bottom line here is this – your heart just isn’t in this. Nor your brain. I’m guessing that you were a difficult and argumentative child, and hopefully by trade you’re engaged in something like law that allows you to continue to argue.

    You are an incredibly stubborn person, but I have hope for you for no other reason than you seem passionate about this and I hope and pray that God will somehow open your heart and mind to the true beauty of what Holy Mother Church teaches.

  119. avatar annonymouse says:

    E-

    Moreover, please think back to when you were received into the Catholic Church. Were you not asked the question “Do you believe everything that the Catholic Church holds and teaches?” Did you think you were at liberty to say “yes” and later deny the very teaching authority of the Church? Or did you say “yes” but not mean it? Did someone tell you that is was OK to say “yes” to a question which includes the word “everything” and somehow make a conscience exception to this or that thing which she teaches?

    I ask you again: Do you believe everything that the Catholic Church holds and teaches?

    Peace to you, my brother in Christ

  120. avatar BigE says:

    @Anonnymouse,
    So let’s review the facts here. I claim we are indeed allowed to question some church teachings. I base this on the following:
    1) I’ve referenced a Vatican Document that makes it clear that theologians can certainly question a teaching. At a mininum, this disproves your claim that “no one” can question a church teaching and remain in full communion with the catholic church. We’ve now at least established that theologians can.
    2) Professor of Moral Theology Dr May, either through his interpretation of that document, or through his knowledge of other sources – expanded the group above from just theologians, to “others” and to “well informed catholics”. If he meant Bishops, he would have said Bishops since there is a big difference between a “well informed catholic” and a Bishop.
    3) The USCCB has posted the norms for licit dissent. “There exist in the Church a lawful freedom of inquiry and of thought and also general norms of licit dissent. This is particularly true in the area of legitimate theological speculation and research.” Note: “particuliary true for theological specualtion” is different than “only true” for theological speculation – thus back to Dr. May’s comments.
    4) The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1790) clearly calls on us to follow our conscience.
    5) I have seen no church documents that talk about individuals not being in full communion with the Catholic Church when they question some teachings. (I have seen it used only in reference to churchs.) When I asked you to support this claim of yours for indiviuals, the only thing I have seen is your opinion and a reference to Canon 752 which says nothing about indiviuals and full communion with the Catholic Church.
    6) For further proof, the Church as a practical matter, is not acting on what you claim she believes. Noted dissenters like Curran and McBrien are still priests, are still receiving the sacraments, and are still dispensing the sacraments. They may be limited in what they can teach, but they have not been kicked out of the church or claimed by the Church to not be part of the Church.
    7) And to be honest, I’m not even sure what the practical application is of “someone not being in full communion with the Catholic Church”. Someone is either in the Church or they are not. I also provided the statements that reflect when a person is fully IN the church, where the words “in full communion” were actually used. (has received all the sacraments of initiation and fully participates in the life of the church).
    So if you’d like to continue to discuss any of those points, or point me to documents that support your point of view, I’d love to continue our discussion. I may not agree with your position, but I certainly respect it and YOU. And I respect you enough to only question the ideas and facts you may bring up and not your intelligence, your integrity, any perceived character flaws, your childhood upbring, or any other personal issues that don’t really pertain to the facts at hand.
    Peace to you also my Sister in Christ.

  121. avatar annonymouse says:

    E –

    You’re hopeless. The very article by Dr. May you reference says that the Faithful are required to give assent to the teachings of Holy Mother Church. When you were received into the Church, you solemnly said that you accept and believe all that the Church teaches and believes. You lied. Or changed your mind. Whatever.

    And you have not, in fact, ever read a word of John Paul’s Theology of the Body.

    I give up on you. Thankfully, the Lord will not.
    peace
    Annonymouse

  122. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    E,

    Follow your conscience but make sure it’s well formed. Tha means, no being advised by Fr. Currin, Sister Scholes and the like

  123. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    First of all, I seriously wonder how faithful to saying daily mass, and reciting their divine office, are dissenters like Fr. Mc Brien and Curran

  124. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Richard:”First of all, I seriously wonder how faithful to saying daily mass, and reciting their divine office, are dissenters like Fr. Mc Brien and Curran.

    Richard: as priests in good standing with their bishops, both of the priests say Mass on a regular basis and the daily office. Father Curran himself has a reputation for personal holiness above and beyond the average priest.

  125. avatar Dr. K says:

    Father Curran himself has a reputation for personal holiness above and beyond the average priest.

    Until he begins to write… or speak… or in any way deliver commentary on Catholic teaching.

  126. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “Until he begins to write… or speak… or in any way deliver commentary on Catholic teaching.”

    I would not presume to judge the state of his soul or comment on his relationship with Christ.

  127. avatar Dr. K says:

    I would not presume to judge the state of his soul or comment on his relationship with Christ.

    So don’t presume “personal holiness” when you don’t know.

  128. avatar raymondfrice says:

    I said, “Father Curran himself has a reputation for personal holiness above and beyond the average priest.”

    No where did I say that I believed in, or judged, or had an opinion, or presumed on his personal holiness. I merely stated what his reputation was among his students, faculty,many clergy, and many of the members of the American Theological Society.

  129. avatar Dr. K says:

    Very well. He also has a reputation as a dissenter.

  130. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “He also has a reputation as a dissenter.” You bet, and a BIG one.

  131. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Ray
    These men,by promoting contraception,are partly responsible for hundreds of millions committing sin,hundreds of millions of abortions, breakdown of family life,lowering of morals,and polluting the environment with estrogen that is now in the water supply,altering the sex of small mammals and reptiles.
    If you give scandal it would be better if you were not born. It is better if a millstone were hung around your neck and thrown into the sea.
    These men are more like vipers and if you are around th,they will bite you and you will have the sme venom.

    Fr McBrien wrote articles questioning the real presence and the Resurection. So what significance is his mass. It is only a Protestant commeration, nothing special. And the Office: My wife went to Rochester to the Sisters of St Jpseph concerning a possible vocation. They discouraged her from attending daily mass. Instead,they had a service where a stone was placed on a mantle and the nuns performed a service. Reciting the office requires obedience and these people are obedient only to their dissent.

  132. avatar Hopefull says:

    People filled with holiness don’t lead other souls astray. Nor do they have their mandatums to teach revoked by the Pope.

  133. avatar BigE says:

    @ Richard Thomas
    Can you point me to the article where Fr. McBrien questioned the real presence?

  134. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    E, It was in the Courier, quite a while ago

  135. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    E

    I apologize. I now recollect Fr Mc Brien wrote an article questioning the resurrection, not the real presence. The article was in the Courier,over a year ago.

  136. avatar BigE says:

    No problem Richard. I was just curious as to what exactly he said (wrote). I’ll google around and see if I can find it. Thanks.

  137. avatar annonymouse says:

    I’m not aware that McBrien has ever (publicly) disputed the real presence. What rational theologian would question this fundamental Catholic belief and hope to continue to be called Catholic.

    What I am aware that McBrien has questioned is the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, a practice that, in his opinion, should be “tolerated but not encouraged.”

    A 10-second googling found this from the enlightened pages of America:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=4389#comments

  138. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    I literally just got off the phone with a friend who’s teen daughter has just expressed that she feels “called” to the priesthood. Aside from sharing church teaching and praying for the family, what advice would give? What should they tell their daughter to guide her away from this sin?

    Giver her St. Therese’s “Story of a Soul”. In one of her writings, she says: (p198)

    If only I were a priest! How lovingly I would bear You in my hands, my Jesus, when my voice had brought You down from Heaven. How lovingly I would give you to souls!

    Get the book to see how she handles this desire.

  139. avatar Thinkling says:

    Indeed, if I pursued everything I felt I was ever called to do, then if you want to hear about it better make sure to cover the ears of the children.

    Recently got SoaS eBook, and while have not read yet, might hope to do a tenth as well as Therese at handling my so-called calls.

  140. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Her “endorsement” is unfortunate. But, don’t forget the endorsements (of sorts) that some Romans give to SSPX and their fraudulent bishop Fellay and his ilk. I don’t know why Benedict wastes his time on “reaching out” to SSPX… they are poison.

  141. avatar Dr. K says:

    I don’t know why Benedict wastes his time on “reaching out” to SSPX… they are poison.

    The same reason he reaches out to any group in schism: to bring them back into the Catholic Church.

  142. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Just a fine point here. I recently read an article demonstrating that the sspx are not in “schism”. I don’t remember exactly the term they suggested instead and I don’t know if they were correct or not, but they were pretty adamant about it.


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